The Olympic Games have been rocked by their first doping case with Chinese swimmer Chen Xinyi allegedly set to face a CAS hearing today into a positive drugs test.
Brazilian news website estadao.com has today reported that Chen returned a positive blood test prior to arriving in Rio for the Olympic Games.
The Chinese swimming association were allegedly informed two days ago of the suspension and have taken the matter to CAS (Court of Arbitration of Sport) which has been specifically set up in Rio to deal with the number of pre-Games doping appeals for Russian athletes wanting to compete at these Games.
Chen competed in the women’s 100m butterfly on day one and two, finishing fourth in the final ahead of Australia’s Emma McKeon.
The 18-year-old was due to compete in the women’s 50m freestyle tomorrow, racing against Australia’s sprint queens Cate and Bronte Campbell.
Chen was considered to be a sprinter to keep an eye on for the future given her age and already quick times, with her 24.53s 50m freestyle time at the Chinese nationals in April ranked 12th in the world this year.
A FINA spokesman did not immediately answer calls.
But the news comes at the worst possible time for Chinese swimming after their leading swimmer, Sun Yang, was labelled a “drug cheat” by Australia’s Mack Horton on the opening day of competition.
Sun served a three-month banned for testing positive to a banned substance in 2014, but the test was disguised for several months until after he the ban was completed.
The Chinese swimming association had demanded an apology from Horton, but the Olympic 400m champion received strong support from other swimmers, Swimming Australia and the Australian Olympic Committee who endorsed his public stance for clean sport.
Today’s possible doping revelations follows yesterday’s news that some swimmers might break away from the sport’s governing body to form a ‘Super League’ of swimmers in a bid to clean up the sport.
In a bold attempt to clean up the sport in the wake of IOC and FINA turning a blind eye to doping – swimmers could rise up and break away from the controversial swimming governing body.
World Swimming Coaches Association boss John Leonard – a vocal critic of FINA and the IOC handling of its doping issues – says he already has interest from top US and Australian swimmers and is understood to have already sounded out 21-time Olympic champion Michael Phelps’ camp.